Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti explains how city not under total COVID-19 lockdown

The mayor said employees who are not in an essential business, who can successfully telecommute, cannot be forced back to the workplace.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti sounded an optimistic note for the thousands of out-of-work members of the movie and TV industry who are running out of any unemployment benefits. On Eyewitness Newsmakers, the mayor said he hoped to announce new plans in coming weeks.

"We're going to find those safe rules," Garcetti said, "I hope we can convince the state to allow that as one of the safe activities that can be done with skeletal crews to start, and secondly, I'm hoping that the state will offer for the next two to three years a tax credit to anybody that will film here so we can get this industry back on its feet and bring that production back home so it's a big part of our recovery."

There has been some confusion about child care under COVID-19. Daycare remains closed. But the mayor said it never stopped being an essential service.

"Today, child care is permitted," he said. "So, if you have someone you've paid in the past, you are able to do that right now."

There is daycare for first responders, but that could expand.

"We're looking at this summer and seeing what we can do and seeing what we can do with our city facilities. Talking to our school districts as well, because the ultimate child care is going to be in our schools."

The city and the county revised orders are to wear masks at all times.

The mayor said, "The easiest way is take your mask whenever you leave the house and wear it whenever you're going to come into interaction with any other person." He added that this means, "Any time. Any place. Anywhere."

He added, "So, yes, where people have asked does that mean if I'm completely on my own, do I have to worry about it? It's an abundance of caution. You might think you're walking on a trail by yourself, but you come around a corner, and boom, you're right there with somebody else. So, protect them and protect yourself."

There is continuing reaction over the three-month extension in the Safer at Home order. Viewers ask if we are locked down for three more months.

The mayor said, "It's clear we're going to have to have a health order for the entire crisis, but that doesn't mean it will be at the same level. That doesn't mean we'll be locked down for three more months."

He added, "We've already taken steps forward. We have to pause, assess those, make sure cases don't go up and hospitals aren't overwhelmed."

"As long as they aren't, it gives us the confidence to take more steps forward in the weeks ahead."

Returning to the workplace is in a later stage of opening Los Angeles. The mayor said employees who are not in an essential business, who can successfully telecommute, cannot be forced back to the workplace.

"We're telling people it's still safer at home. If you can telecommute, please do. It's one of the great weapons we have, if you can get your work done without having to be in an office. Offices are super-spreader places," he said.

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